Friday, April 11, 2008

Inappropriate public conversation number 963

I took my boys to the library today to return their books, get out some new ones, and put a hold on my impossible-to-find next book group selection (Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri).

Then I decided to spend two minutes looking for a book for myself. I've been wanting to read Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin for quite some time. It's been on my list to look for in used book stores for over a year, and I just haven't found it yet. But she was mentioned briefly in The Omnivore's Dilemma, and then I just read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time which is a fictional story of a boy with autism so I decided this was just too much of a coincidence and I needed to read Thinking in Pictures right away.

Of course my library is a total disaster. Even with the call number, it's usually impossible to find the book you need since they seem to use numerical order more as a suggestion than a fixed rule. Hey, maybe they're following my system of organizing books by color! Who knows, I haven't managed to figure out their system yet. It's a bit of a mystery.

But I digress with this long explanation simply to set the stage. N-man had picked a book about trains, so I set the boys in a chair as I start my search for Thinking in Pictures and let them read their new books. I'm up on a ladder, searching through books far above my head, and of course, even though I'm in the right call number section, my book is nowhere in sight. Suddenly I hear, quite loudly in the silence of the library, "Mommy, I see Percy!"

Now, anyone who has little boys probably knows that Percy is the green Thomas the Train character. And sure enough in his book was a picture of a real train that was painted green. What a great connection for him to make!

But here's the problem: the boys don't say Percy. They clearly say "pussy". So he's yelling: "Mommy, I see Percy!" but that's not what it sounds like he's saying. Then B-Man comes over to look. "Mommy, green Percy!" "That's nice honey, but let's use our inside voice." "Percy! Percy!" "Shhh, we have to be very quiet in the library." "Mommy, there's Percy!"

This goes on for a few minutes until finally, cheeks blazing, I take away the book to try to get them to look at B-man's book about trucks. That was the worst idea ever. Because what did they both yell immediately? "Mommy, I want Percy!" Sigh. I bet all the guys sitting around were wondering if we found the secret porn section of the library.

Random related thought: I finally had to ask the reference librarian why I couldn't find the book I wanted. Here's the explanation I got:

Librarian: "Oh, is that a biography?"

Me: "Yes."

Librarian: "We pulled all the biographies off the shelves and put them in a section upstairs."

Me: "I thought we weren't allowed to go upstairs."

Librarian: "You're not, but I can go get it for you in a few minutes."

Me, looking at my watch and realizing I'm supposed to be home in 5 minutes for the start of the SIX hour window the gas company gave me for when they're coming to switch our meter, but that's another rant for another day: "That's okay. I guess I don't really need it."

I guess all my signs to read Thinking in Pictures immediately were canceled out by the sign from my ill-organized library not to read it. It's not like I don't have enough books to read. I'll just keep Thinking in Pictures on my list. Maybe it'll be at the used book store next time I go!

3 comments:

KCRSummertime said...

Reminds me of a friend who's boy was very into frogs, but when he said "Frog" it very distinctly sounded like "F*CK!" He would go around shouting it whenever he saw one. "F*CK! F*CK! F*CK!" and his mom would chase after him saying, "Yes, there is a FROG, isn't there? A nice FROG!"

Mary Ellen said...

I really don't get this -- they put all the biographies in a place where the public can't go?? That's really weird!
The Percy story? Funny!!

What A Card said...

Mary Ellen, isn't that the weirdest? Our library is completely insane. When I was taking a children's lit class a few years ago (well before I had twins), I finally spent about 2 hours one day reorganizing their picture books. I just couldn't deal any more!

Now I'm just wondering what's wrong with me that I hear "pussy" and don't think "cat"!